Dealing with Fear

Good morning to each of you! May you have a calm and peaceful day, filled with joy! Pardon my silence for the past few days… I have been recuperating. The search term I liked today is “dealing with fear,” and so, will discuss fear today.

We all experience fear It is a normal human emotion. It warns us of danger so we can go into the fight or flight mode. That is its purpose and it does its job well, or you wouldn’t be here today. Yet, does it get out of hand, preventing you from moving forward in your life? Do you find yourself not getting things done because you are in fear?

Ah, if you said yes, then you are among the company of many, for many of us allow fear to stop us from doing many things, such as following our dreams, for example. Is that you? Can’t seem to get your dream off the ground because of your fear? There is way through it and here it is.

There are three steps you can take to get through fear. The thing is, when you’re in fear, you don’t breathe. It is a typical physiological occurrence, as oxygen goes to the parts of the brain necessary for fight or flight. But that keeps you stuck, so there are the three things I have referred to that will allow you to get unstuck, able to move forward through the fear.

The first thing is to breathe, ask for help, and take action. Breathe, ask for help, take action… That’s the first step. The second step is to acknowledge you are in the fear state. Feel it, recognize it, acknowledge it. Then, the third step is to choose whether to stay in that state or to move forward to something new.

It doesn’t work to say “Move on!” “Get past your fear!” It doesn’t work that way. Instead, you must recognize your fear-state and take action to get unstuck from it by doing what I outlined above.

By doing this, getting unstuck, you will find that you move forward to fulfill your dreams, your desires. The next time you are in fear, try this exercise and let us know how it worked for you.

If you find it doesn’t, then ask for help by calling to schedule a free 30-minute discovery call with me. In this call, we will explore the factors behind your fear. You may decide to work with me in my coaching program to uncover more about your fear. I can be reached at 415-883-8325 or carolyncjjones@yahoo.com. There is help out there; all you need to do is ask and it shall be given. 🙂

Have a great day!

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Will You Play Small or Step Into Your Greatness?

Good morning! I wish for each of you a day filled with great joy, as you step into your greatness. It is that which I would like to address… how to step into your greatness, for you may be holding back who you are.

Yesterday, I was on a sales call, and the leader, Eric, said that when we step into our greatness, we are helping and impacting those people around us that need our help. Conversely, when we do not step into our greatness, we are being harmful to those that we could be helping.

Then he had us email him what our biggest take-away was from the call. I emailed and said that I didn’t realize that by playing small, I was harming others, and that I don’t want to harm others. He read that email aloud, and made comments about it, pointing out that when we play small, we are keeping those who need to hear our message from that message, and, thus, are harming them.

Wow. I never thought of it like that. You see, I was introduced to the concept of playing small a few months ago at a workshop. At that time, I recognized that I was allowing my fear of standing out in the world to hold me back. I thought I got past that… until Eric said yesterday what he said.

I seem to come up with all sorts of busy-work to keep me from contacting the big players in my field of forgiveness, from reaching out to connect. So, this morning, I decided to put my money where my mouth is, and I emailed Fred Luskin, who is the PhD at Stanford University who has been working on the Stanford Forgiveness Project. He is considered an expert on forgiveness.

And I emailed him, telling him that I am “just up the street from him,” (no, I didn’t put it like that…) and that I, too, am dealing with forgiveness in my practice of speaking and coaching. I asked that he call me because I wanted to talk to him about his path of forgiveness, my path of forgiveness, and how our paths meet.

Talk about a wow! Now THAT was stepping into my greatness! I have taken the action and I will wait patiently to see the result of that action.

Where in your life do you play small, keep hidden for fear of being knocked down? Think about it, and write about it. I invite you to journal, print, with your non-domindant hand, as all sorts of thoughts will flow to you when you do that.

Write about your dream and how you are not fulfilling it because of your fears. That’s playing small. Not speaking up for yourself is playing small. Not approaching someone because you feel you are “less than” is playing small. Write about all the ways in which you play small in your life.

Think about how you can step into your greatness by reaching out, by speaking up, by fulfilling your dream. Then write about it, and finally, take action! Step into your greatness!

 

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10 Ways to Overcome Low Self-Esteem

Good morning, everyone! I am running, running, running, and I apologize for the lateness today and the hurried post I must make. I have 25 minutes to write about ways to overcome low self-esteem. So, let’s get started!

Here are some thoughts about ways to overcome self-esteem:

1. The best thing to do to overcome low self-esteem is to get into action of some sort. That may involve soul-searching, as I define in the following steps, or it may mean getting active in an activity, or a group.

2. Start writing every morning for at least 15 minutes and print with your “other,” your non-dominant, hand. Allow your feelings to flow onto the page without censoring them.

3. Identify all of your positive points – list them out. This list will be at least one full page on a legal pad. i.e., identify at least 25 positive things about yourself.

4. List out all the positive things you did for others and yourself, and words you said to others and yourself in the last week. List these out. It will be a long list; go with it! 🙂

5. Write down all the negative things you have been told throughout the course of your life that have led to your low self-esteem.

6. Take each point on the list, the negative points, and ask yourself: Is it true? Was what I was told true? Write about what comes up for you, what you discover.

7. Now, if you have a “yes” on your list, if some of the negative things told to you were and are true, write a plan for each point you found to be negative. This plan will include how you plan to make changes in yourself so the point is no longer negative. In other words, plan to take action to improve yourself.

8. Take the time to reflect on all the lies you were told. Feel in your gut, in your heart, how those things were not said fairly. Consider they were said by an emotionally ill person, for whatever reason. Write about what comes up for you.

9. Become willing to let go of the negative messages you were/are told, and recognize how it will change the story you tell about yourself. For example, you may be pitying yourself; letting go of the negativity means you will have to let go of the pity, and you may not get the same attention you have been getting. I guarantee you, though, that the positive attention you get instead will be well worth it. 🙂

10. Re-write the list of positive points about yourself, including ways you would like to be, even if you have not achieved them quite yet. Adopt the new beliefs about yourself that you have listed.

If you preform these steps, you will see a shift from a low self-esteem, to a much more positive one.

Remember, we are all wanting to step into our greatness. We often play small, and we need to start playing big by stepping into that greatness that exists in al of us. That brings to mind another point, so I have included a bonus tip, tip #11:

11. Identify the fear you hold about letting go of your negative self-esteem; write about that fear. Just by bringing it to light, you help to dissolve it.

I am hopeful you find these steps useful. Leave a comment if you do them and notice an improvement in your low self-esteem.

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How to Open Your Heart More

“How to open your heart more” was searched for 4 times yesterday morning, so I thought I’d address that. I apologize for no post yesterday… I started this and the day got away from me before I could develop the blog. So, here we are today, in this moment, and let me write about how to open your heart.

The first thing needed to open your heart is willingness to do so, willingness to go there. Once you are willing, the whole world opens up, and you are able to see the things around you that you couldn’t see before. You see your physical world more intently; you see others with eyes and heart of gentleness and kindness.

Once you are willing to open your heart, the next stage involves identifying the wounds you have endured during your lifetime, and the feelings that accompany these wounds. Look closely at your fear and how it holds you back in life. Look closely at grief you may be experiencing, a feeling associated with loss of any type.  Allow yourself the time to look at these feelings and try to be straight while you do so. Try to just “be” with them, without numbing them out with substances or activity.

Now, feel compassion for yourself for the wounds you have received and endured. See yourself with gentleness, kindness. Do not slide into self-pity… this is not a pity party I am suggesting. More, it is an objective assessment and acknowledgment of the damage you have received. Now it’s time to start seeing the world around you with gratitude. Be grateful for the simplest things and soon that gratitude will expend to larger things in your life.

Now you are equipped to begin a self-appraisal, looking first at your positive traits, behaviors, and actions. Really praise yourself for these things. Then, look at your negative behavior, the things you do for which you are mad at others for doing, when you do the very same things yourself. For your bad behavior that was hurtful to others, take ownership of that behavior. Be responsible and accountable for it by letting go of any resentments, and apologizing, if indicated.

This tool is invaluable as one to use on an on-going basis, throughout each day. It becomes second-nature to see yourself honestly, objectively. Rather than allowing this appraisal to be a jumping-off place from which to beat yourself up, use it instead as a method of keeping yourself right-sized… not bragging or boastful, nor insecure and self-reproachful. Use a self-appraisal to locate where you are in your world, both outer and inner.

Once you learn to follow this process, you will have opened your heart so very much. There is one more tool to use to get to deep peace and freedom, and that is forgiveness. Forgiveness allows you, without condoning what was done, to put to rest your heart-burning resentment, the thing that keeps you simmering with anger just below the surface. Once you come to forgiveness, you will begin to be really free, able to open your heart even wider.

So, this is the process to go through to open your heart. How does it work for you? Do you have a different method? What works for you? Leave a comment and let us know.

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How to Overcome Fear

Good morning. It is dark and early at 4:38 am PST, and I see that fear was searched for three times yesterday, so let’s talk about that.

Fear can be positive or negative. For example, it is positive when it warns us of danger. We can jump right into the survival mode, the fight or flight state-of-being. But what about when it’s negative?

Negative fear includes such things as fear that you are less than, not good enough, fear that you’ll look stupid… things like that. When you go to this place, you are in a contracted, pulled in state, versus being free of fear which allows you to be open and expansive.

To identify fear, look behind your anger. It often hides there. When we are angry, usually there is fear of something attached to that anger, as is there hurt. Hurt and fear.

When you identify you are in fear, there are three things you can do to get through it to another mindset:

  1. Once you identify the fear you are in, breathe, ask for help, and take action.
  2. Now acknowledge you are in that fear state, stare it in the face. It will dissipate.
  3. Choose to leave the fear state or stay in it.

Fear is an acronym standing for False Evidence Appearing Real. We take non-facts, figments and worries of our imagination, and we run with them, expound upon them until we think they are real. It is often based on something that didn’t or won’t happen. Keep an eye out for this and stop yourself when you catch yourself going to this place.

Perhaps the biggest antidote for fear is to take action, to choose to leave the fear state and take action despite the fear. That action might be small, such as contacting someone we have been putting off contacting, or huge to us, like approaching someone to be a joint venture partner. The thing is, you need to identify it and take action despite your fear. Go through the steps above, and you will find yourself moving forward through and past the fear.

What are some of the things you fear that you cannot seem to get past? Leave a comment and let us know.

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How to Conquer Fear by Getting Sober

There were three searches about fear yesterday… conquering it, conclusions about it, and overcoming it. I’m going to take fear one more step and apply it to becoming sober. It has been my experience that I was only able to conquer fear when sober, so that’s what I’ll speak to.

It wasn’t until many years sober that I realized how much fear had ruled my life as a child and then during my drinking days. Basically, everything I did was dictated by fear of some sort… fear of not being good enough, that you wouldn’t like me,  that  I would make you mad or bother you… and the list goes on.

Let’s turn our attention now to the days I have been sober, my days in sobriety. It has taken me many years as a sober person to drop my fears that I am not good enough, although I sometimes return there, even today. What I have found in sobriety is that I experience the fear, but then I use faith to gain the courage to move forward, despite the fear. I always feel a sense of accomplishment when I do that.

I’m talking about little things that don’t scare many people… like calling or introducing myself to people to let them know who I am, what I do, and to inform them of my services. I get all fearful, and yet, I need to just do it, like Nike says. So I do, and everything turns out well, just as it was intended to be.

The fear which keeps you from getting sober warrants discussion. What about getting sober scares you? Define that for yourself, in all the possible ways. For me, it was not knowing how I would exist without alcohol in my life… how would I spend my time? It was fear of the unknown. Loss of a lifestyle, even though my current life was detrimental to my spirit and well-being, it was still familiar and, in a sick way, comforting.

At a deeper level, I resisted getting sober because a piece of my heart knew I had to drag out all the heartaches of my life and look at them. I didn’t want to do that and I avoided it. Heck! I drank to escape those feelings!! It took me many years of sobriety to realize that in the end, “those feelings” I was escaping were joy and peace.

So, how can you move forward past your fears? Consider the action or result that your fear is preventing. Define a task that will accomplish your desired action/result. Break the task down into smaller parts or sub-tasks, and do one piece at a time, one phone call at a time, one day at a time. The key here is perseverance. When you accomplish a sub-task, praise yourself with positive self-talk.

Getting and staying sober has allowed me to persevere in countless situations, numerous times. It has allowed me to move forward with courage rather than being stuck in my fear. Heck, I just sent a letter, two actually, to Michelle Obama, inviting her to open a dialogue about her activities with the Vietnam vets. Talk about getting past fears! I needed information and our differences in roles in the world made no matter, as I was reaching out person-to-person, one human to the next.

The thing about getting sober is that, if you stick with it and persevere, you will reap so many emotional benefits in addition to conquering your fears. To conquer your fears, first list them out. Then write out what you think will happen in each given situation. Then write about what you want to be different and how that looks for you. See if the fears have lessened…

The thing about conquering fear is that, if you look it in the eye, acknowledge it, and then befriend it, just notice it, it lessens. How can you move forward in your life, despite fear? What is the one major thing you have been putting off, procrastinating, due to fear? I invite you to leave a comment.

 

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Creating Peace-of-Mind – Getting Past Fear

Good morning. Yesterday, one search term was fear conclusion. I am thinking that means getting to the conclusion of fear. That’s what we’re going to discuss today. Fear… and how to get past it.

Fear… that you’re not good enough, that you look or act stupid, that you are a bother to others, that you are ugly, etc. Whatever you tell yourself that sounds like these, it is destructive to your soul. It erodes your spirit.

Yet, fear serves a purpose which is to protect you and keep you safe. Fear happens automatically in situations where you  might be in danger. We often get stuck in the fight, flight, or freeze mode. This just automatically happens. When you recognize fear is happening, you can breathe. Breathe, Then ask for help with your fear. Finally, take action, however small. Just take action.

Because you go to that mechanism of survival when you feel fear, you have to get out of the mechanism of survival and then speak or art. When you get stuck in fear, you go to your old patterns of behavior. The key is to get out of that pattern, and this is best done by using the breathing, ask for help, and take action formula. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It is actually quite courageous.

The next thing that you can do to shift from that fear state is to acknowledge you are experiencing fear. It will dissipate when you shine light on it.

The third step is to make the choice to stay in that fear, or to leave it. This is a conscious decision, made after you recognize your fear and acknowledge it.

Fear often shows up as procrastination. It’s not that you’re lazy as much as you may be having underlying fear.

It doesn’t work to tell someone to get over their fear It doesn’t work that way. You need to identify your state of mind and get unstuck from that point.

Fear keeps you from your dream. I ask you, what would your life look like if you were living your dream instead of your fear?

 

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Finding the Courage to Follow Your Dream

Good morning! We are now on a schedule of blogs every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Today we will talk about how to find the courage to follow your dream.

Perhaps you have the dream to become a caterer, or a teacher. Whatever the desire you hold, if it is coming from your heart, perhaps it is your divine path.

Listen to those urgings, the tug at your heartstrings, for it is your intended path. Even if you feel the pulling, it is frightening to follow a dream.

It takes courage to follow a dream, and some daring to stand out. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be a great caterer, or a teacher, or whatever your dream is?” We don’t feel worthy, so we ignore the voices of our heart and soul. 

Instead, we go to jobs every day that do not fulfill our soul’s desire. After a while, our soul dies and we feel lethargic, listless. We are tired and irritable with our family when we get home after a whole day of  pushing ourselves through a job we perhaps despise.

What is one remedy? If we are aware of a dream we have, we can make the decision and commitment to follow it. This takes a lot of guts, or courage. Courage is what allows us to move forward in the face of fear.

Step out, Stop playing small. Be the light the divine forces of the Universe want and intend you to be. Find the resources you need to move forward, even if you don’t think what you have is sufficient. When you move in the direction of your dream, the Universe steps forward and brings you what you need. It just seems to work that way…

Identify what is holding you back from following your dream. If it is fear, pray for the courage to move forward, even just a step at a time. See what happens when you do.  Follow your dream and it will bring you closer to peace.

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Fear of Following Your Dreams

Good morning. I have been at a conference for the past four days, learning how to become a speaker. It was a dynamite workshop! I am armed with the tools to move forward with my dream of speaking to audiences about how to find peace of mind from anxiety and agitation.

Do you have a dream for your life? Are you living that dream? Chances are, if you are not living that dream, it is because of fear… fear of the unknown, fear that you are not good enough, fear to let go of the unhappy life you are living and step into a new way of being.

Just because you step into something new does not mean you have quelled all fear. For example, I am about to embark upon a new career of speaking, and I am terrified.

The terror is that I will not know what to say, that I won’t get it “right,” that my mind will go blank while I am on stage, that I will look stupid to the audience. I feel all of this and still, I press on. Why do I do that? Why do I continue to work my way toward my dream? Why don’t I allow the fear to win?

The truth is, I am allowing the fear to slow me down, allowing it to hamper my movement forward. Still, I inch forward through that fear. I will not allow it to stop me.

Through the actions I take, I will be able to move past the fear. That is not to say that the fear will be gone. Oh, no. I will continue to move forward despite the fear because I feel so strongly that I have a message intended to be shared with the world.

Because that belief is so strong, I will move forward even though I still feel fear. Will it feel uncomfortable? Most likely. Yet, I am bound and determined not to let that stop me. I will notice and acknowledge the fear, and I will gain strength and courage to move forward through it despite its presence. 

That’s the thing about fear – we can continue to move forward toward our dreams even though we feel it. It will not hurt us. What will hurt us, however, is allowing that fear to stop us in our pursuit of our dream, our happiness. If we don’t try, we will feel we have failed. We will kill our spirit if we do not pursue those dreams we hold dear to our heart. 

So, let’s take a look at our dreams, our desires, and let’s identify and acknowledge any fears that come up. Allow them to be and gently move forward anyway. When we can do this, we will feel victorious, and eventually, the fear will subside, or not. But we know we can set aside that fear and still meet our heart’s desires.

 

 

 

 

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Fulfill Your Dreams

Fulfillment of Dreams

Fulfillment of Dreams

“I am waking up from a lifetime of sleeping and am just beginning to learn to play, to fill my sails and dance across the shimmering waters.

“I am fulfilling dreams I have held in my heart forever that I did not know and, so, could not follow.”

Is this you? Are you awakening so much that you are now fulfilling your dreams? How is that for you? If you’re like me, it is awesome, soothing, satisfying, peace-evoking.

I held the desire to be a photographer when I was younger, but I gave up on that dream when I tried it in the mid-70s and was unsuccessful.

I guess there was a part of me that held that desire, and when the opportunity presented itself 34 years later, I merely followed where I was being led. I took action to feed my passion… photography, and soon I had a body, a collection, of wrought-iron gate photographs.

Before I knew it, I was writing a book of photos and verses which I later published. I sold my framed fine-art photography. I was not successful enough selling my photography or my book to support myself, but I was doing my dream. I felt fulfilled and rewarded because I tried; I followed my dream.

We don’t follow our dreams, perhaps because we think they are far-fetched. Mostly, I suspect we get into fear. Remember, fear is an acronym for false evidence appearing real. Yes, it’s scary, so find the courage and do it anyway. Try it. The success is in overcoming any obstacle and having tried to fulfill your dreams.

The feeling we will have when we fulfill our dreams is tremendous. Whether you become famous is not the issue; having overcome the fear to try, is the measure of success. 

What do you dream about doing in your most secret spaces? In your most sacred moments? Hold that dream in your heart. Be open to things as they come across your path that move you toward that dream. Take action when the opportunity arrives. The most important things to do are to remain open to your dream, to hold them in your heart, and to take action when they arise.

Don’t sit around, waiting for that special action to take… go about your life, your routine. That is not how it works. Do the next thing that presents itself to you, and the next, and then the next. One day, you may find that these steps have allowed you to fulfill your dreams.

 

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